Mr. William H. "Bill" Gelbach Jr., 89

June 03, 2010
  • Mr. William H. "Bill" Gelbach Jr.

JAN. 22, 1921-MAY 31, 2010

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - Mr. William H. "Bill" Gelbach Jr., a resident of Quincy Village and formerly of 3407 Leitersburg Pike, Waynesboro, Pa., was pronounced dead around 2:45 p.m. Monday, May 31, 2010, in his apartment at Quincy Village.

Born Jan. 22, 1921, in Hagerstown, Md., he was the son of the late William H. Gelbach Sr. and Beulah B. (Nicodemus) Gelbach.

He graduated from Waynesboro High School with the class of 1939. He later received his bachelor of science degree in economics from Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, class of 1943. He also attended the University of Indiana Graduate School of Savings and Loan.

Mr. Gelbach served with the United States Army Corps of Engineers, serving in the South Pacific Theater during World War II.


He and his wife, the late Doris E. (Hoffman) Gelbach, were married Oct. 25, 1958, in the Waynesboro Church of the Brethren.

In 1950, he established the W.H. Gelbach Insurance and Investment Firm, which later became Waynesboro Building & Loan. In 1971, he orchestrated and built the Waynesboro Savings Association and served as chief executive officer and president. The Waynesboro Savings Association merged with Home Federal Savings Bank in Hagerstown, Md., in 1976. Bill remained with the company as an advisor and served on the board of directors.

He was a member of Trinity United Church of Christ, Waynesboro, where he served on consistory and was a trustee; Rotary Club of Waynesboro, where he was a Paul Harris Fellow and served as treasurer from 1967 through 1971, president from 1973 to 1974, and as assistant district governor for six years; the Waynesboro YMCA board of directors from 1952 to 1978, serving as treasurer and vice president, and was the Y's fund campaign chairman in 1951; board of directors and vice president of Totem Pole Playhouse in Fayetteville; board of directors of the Waynesboro Chamber of Commerce, where he served as president in 1972 and 1973; Joe Stickell American Legion Post 15, Waynesboro; William Max McLaughlin VFW Post 695, Waynesboro; South Chapter 2977 AARP; National AARP; Mount Pisgah Lodge 443 Free & Accepted Masons, Greencastle; Harrisburg Consistory; Zembo Temple; Alpha Club of Philadelphia; served as treasurer and finance committee chairman of the Penn Laurel Council of Girl Scouts, and a district committee member of the Mason-Dixon Boy Scouts Council; BPO Elks Lodge 731, Waynesboro; and AMVETS.

He and his wife bred Dorset sheep on a small farm. He also enjoyed traveling, golfing, theater, musicals, swimming and the culinary arts.

He is survived by one daughter, Kimberly Ann "Kim" DiBenedetto of Philadelphia, Pa.; one son, William H. "Trey" Gelbach III of Waynesboro; and one granddaughter, Alessandra DiBenedetto.

Services will be at 10 a.m. Friday, June 4, 2010, in Trinity United Church of Christ, 30 W. North St., Waynesboro, with the Rev. Sue D-Heedene officiating. Burial will be in Green Hill Cemetery, Waynesboro.

The family will receive friends from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday in Grove-Bowersox Funeral Home, 50 S. Broad St., Waynesboro, where a Masonic memorial service will be conducted by Mount Pisgah Lodge 443 at 7:30 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Antietam Humane Society, 8513 Lyons Road, Waynesboro, PA 17268 or to Renfrew Museum and Park, 1010 E. Main St., Waynesboro, PA 17268.

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